How do we prepare teachers for supporting the social emotional growth of young children while giving them the tools to address challenging behaviors in school and childcare settings? Those who have been in the field for a long time as well as pre-service teachers often struggle with how to balance instructional practice and requirements to address the social-emotional needs of their students. Without addressing the social-emotional needs of the students, instruction and learning cannot occur. This lecture will focus on developmentally appropriate practices that create social-emotional and physical environments that are most supportive of children's healthy development. In tandem with setting up the environment to foster appropriate behavior, a variety of strategies for addressing challenging behaviors will be discussed. Key components for laying this groundwork include: family-teacher partnerships, developmentally appropriate curriculum and assessment, guidance and behavior supports. Lessons learned from a variety of early childcare and educational settings, including programs in the Delaware Stars for Early Success (the state's Quality Rating and Improvement System [QRIS]), will be presented.